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Lugging around a cooler is a necessary evil of summer excursions. You gotta have the cold beer, soda and brats, but unless you’re name is Arnold, carrying coolers full of ice and other chilled essentials feels far too much like a workout on a day that’s supposed to be reserved for relaxing. And while wheeled coolers have been around for a while, unless you’re planning your party on the sidewalk, most of them have tiny little wheels that end up creating more hassles than they eliminate.

Obviously the good people at Igloo were as frustrated by this situation as the rest of us serious party-goers because this year they are launching what might very well become known as the Swiss Pinzagauer of coolers. Available at igloocoolers.com for $299.99, the Igloo Trailmate is designed with extra-wide 10” wheels that provide enough ground clearance to make it easy to pull the cooler over rough mountain trails or across a crowded beach without having to worry about the wheels getting bogged down in the sand or tripped up by the small stones along the path. To make the haul to your campsite – or secret party place – even easier, Igloo cleverly attached tie-down loops to the sides of the cooler so you can strap on beach chairs, blankets, umbrellas, and other gear. This helps minimize the number of trips you need to make to get all the essentials from the car to your party spot. And to make sure the cooler can handle the extra load you bungee onto it, the Trailmate features an aluminum telescoping handle and skid rails that not only give the cooler extra strength, but a shiny, distinct look too. (C’mon, you know it’s important to roll up to the party lookin’ as boss as possible.)

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Although the ease with which the Trailmate can get you to your party destination is enough to make it a must-have for anyone who plans outdoor gatherings, the real beauty of this cooler is what it does for you once you’ve arrived. From the snap-on butler tray that makes it easy to serve drinks and snacks, to the built-in bottle openers on both sides of the cooler, and the four drink holders molded into the lid, the Trailmate is packed with the kinds of well-thought-out features that will leave you wondering how you ever threw a party without it. Add to that the removable water-resistant storage compartment for keys, cell phones, and wallets, the kangaroo pocket in front of the cooler for sunscreen and bug spray, and the removable fishing rod holders (that can double as flag pole stands for those patriotic occasions or especially rowdy sporting events) and it begins to feel as though Igloo might just have thought of everything when they designed this cooler.

Now if they could just figure out how to keep the beer inside from disappearing…

 

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